The affected persons expressed their fear that due to the dilly-dallying in completing the investigation
Three years to the attack on minority Hindu community in Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar upazila over an allegedly defamatory Facebook post by a Hindu man against the Muslim holy site of Kaba, the victims' wait for justice is not over yet.
Police said they have completed investigation into seven out of eight cases filed in connection with the incident, but they could press charges in only one of those cases thus far.
While talking to The Business Standard, the affected persons expressed their fear that due to the dilly-dallying in completing the investigation, the culprits may get off the hook. They demanded bringing the real culprits to justice.
Kajal Jyoti Dutta, the plaintiff of Duttabari temple ransacking case in the upazila sadar, said: "After the attack, assurances from the police and the local administration made us optimistic about getting justice and this is why we filed the cases. But we do not see any hope of getting justice now. I have heard that charge sheet has been submitted to the court in only one case."
Echoing Kajal, Ratan Chandra Das, a resident of Gangkulpara area in the upazila sadar and an affected person has expressed his dissatisfaction over the slow progress of the cases.
He said, "Justice is not being meted out to the culprits as no charge sheet has been submitted in seven out of the eight cases filed in connection with the incident."
Shankarshan Gopal Das, a priest at Goura Mandir in the upazila sadar, which also came under the attack, said: "The memories of the October 30 incident still make us shiver with panic. But we have not yet got justice for such a heinous attack. We, both Muslims and Hindus want to leave in peace."
Sujit Chakrabarty, general secretary of Nasirnagar Upazila Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad said: "It is our hope that those who were behind the attack will be brought under the law and, will be given exemplary punishment."
The leaders of the Parishad claimed that a vested quarter has been launching attacks on the minority communities abusing the social media in a bid to push the government into a difficult situation.
Muhammad Alamgir Hossain, additional superintendent of police (Administration and Crime) of Brahmanbaria said: "Our investigations are at the last stage. As the number of accused is very large, we have been scrutinising all witnesses and evidences meticulously. After completing the scrutiny, charge sheets will be submitted to the court soon."
What happened in Nasirnagar
Sources said, on October 27, 2016 a post was given from the Facebook ID of one Rasraj Das, son of Jagannath Das of Harinber village under Haripur union in Nasirnagar upazila, which allegedly defamed the Kaba sharif, the holiest site in Islamic tradition.
After the post got viral in the social media, tension mounted in Nasirnagar and Rasraj was arrested on October 29. Police filed a case against him under ICT Act.
Rasraj in his statement to the police claimed that he did not make the Facebook post but Nasirnagar became tensed as agitated mob demanded his execution on charges of blasphemy.
After the Islamist groups Hefajat-e-Islam and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat brought out processions at Nasirnagar upazila sadar on October 30, miscreants simultaneously attacked some Hindu-inhabited areas; ransacked and looted at least 10 temples and more than 100 houses.
On November 4 and November 13, at least six Hindu houses were torched in two fresh rounds of attacks. Police arrested 124 persons in several phases after scrutinising the video footages and photographs of the attacks.
Police and affected people filed eight cases with Nasirnagar police station in connection with the attacks.
On December 11, 2017, about 13 months after the incident, the investigation officer submitted charge sheet in the court accusing 228 persons including Nasirnagar Sadar union parishad Chairman Abul Hashem and Haripur union parishad Chairman Dewan Atiqur Rahman Akhi.